‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: COVID Was the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to the Show, Showrunner Said
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered in March, nearly a year after the COVID-19 pandemic started. But it was one of many big productions greatly impacted by the pandemic and shut down due to it. They were filming in Prague at the start of everything shutting down, and the show itself fell victim to Marvel’s rescheduling of its Disney+ content. Now that it’s here, fans are of course excited. And the showrunner shared that it’s actually not a bad thing that the pandemic affected it so much. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier].
‘The Falcon and the Winter Solider’ was mid-production when COVID-19 first happened and shut it down
According to ComicBook.com, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier began filming in October of 2019. Like many Marvel projects, they filmed in Atlanta, GA but they also headed to Europe to film in Prague, Czech Republic.
They were supposed to film there for a few weeks into March 2020, but as we all know by now, the COVID-19 pandemic struck at that point in time. Deadline reported that production on the series officially halted on March 10, 2020.
That shutdown lasted longer than anyone anticipated as is the case with most of the pandemic and filming in Atlanta started up again in September 2020 according to ComicBook.com. They went back to Prague to finish filming there in October as well.
These delays, along with all other Marvel shutdowns, changed Phase 4. Prior to the pandemic The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was supposed to be the first Disney+ series from Marvel to drop. When the lineup was announced in 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was slated for a Fall 2020 release date according to Consequence of Sound. WandaVision wasn’t supposed to come out until Spring 2021 after The Eternals and Shang-Chi premiered and right before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The showrunner said that the pandemic actually made the show relevant in a way they had only hoped for before
With all that said, the showrunner doesn’t see the pandemic as an actual bad thing for the show. In fact, he sees a lot of good to come from the pandemic for the series.
“The best thing that could have happened to the show was us being shut down,” The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner, Malcolm Spellman, said on The A.V. Club’s podcast Push The Envelope on March 24. “Because… from the beginning of doing this project, we’d wanted to make something that felt super, super relevant. And we wanted conflicts and characters and stories and sub-stories and things and all of that to feel very of today, and of now.”
He explained that even before they were shut down, the “spirit of post-Blip” that’s prevalent in the show is all about how everything’s in chaos. That Blip, and then everyone coming back, really messed things up.
“In the Marvel universe, every single living being is dealing with this same problem,” he said. “Then we get shut down by a global pandemic that is forcing every single living being on this planet, rich or poor to deal with the same problem. And since we’d already staged that in the Marvel universe… it was an opportunity for us to create connectivity and I would subtly mirror our two realities.”
Sam Wilson and Bucky are dealing with adversaries with a really loyal following
Even though Spider-Man: Far From Home took place months after Avengers: Endgame, the repercussions of the Blip weren’t really talked about. And the real-life, negative effects of it, which resulted in people like the Flag Smashers and Karli Morgenthau, definitely weren’t touched upon.
Not only do they have these adversaries, but this group has a very loyal following. In Episode 3, John Walker went to Germany trying to find Karli and use force to get information out of the people harboring her or who helped her in the past. Lemar Hoskins, aka Battlestar, told him that Karli and the Flag Smashers are bringing vaccines and resources along with hope to people in dire need of it. That creates very strong loyalty among hurting people. Whether they disappeared in the Blip or not.
It’s not quite clear yet what the Flag Smashers want other than open borders and “unity” although there’s a lot of tension and destruction right now. It doesn’t seem like they want everyone who was Blipped to go away, but it’s unclear. It looks like the GRC might be displacing them or non-Blipped people and if every GRC or authority figure since Endgame acts the John Walker does, then it’s no wonder a ton of people are turning toward the Flag Smashers.